What Is Diamond Brilliance?

What Is Diamond Brilliance?

Diamonds are famous for their captivating, reflective beauty. When light hits a diamond, it is reflected off the surface to the viewer’s eye as white light, referred to as brilliance. A diamond with excellent brilliance will appear very bright and have a large amount of sparkle, while a diamond with poor brilliance won’t return light well and will appear dull and lifeless. It’s every shopper’s dream to find a diamond with excellent brilliance.

Factors Affecting Diamond Brilliance


Among the 4Cs of a diamond, the cut has the most significant impact on brilliance. A well-cut diamond will have excellent polish, symmetry, depth, and table percentage, allowing it to reflect the maximum light. A diamond cut too deep or too shallow will lose light through the sides and bottom of the stone and not return to the observer. As a result, the diamond will appear dull and lifeless.

When shopping for a brilliant diamond, look for a triple excellent, meaning excellent cut, excellent symmetry, and excellent polish. But these may be quite expensive. If you want to save some money, look for Very Good or Good cut grades but do not settle for Fair and Poor grades.


A diamond with more facets will have more sparkle and fire. However, too many facets will make the diamond look less clear. A round cut diamond has the ideal number of facets, 57/58, arranged to allow light to enter the diamond and be reflected outside. The crown allows light to enter a diamond, while the pavilion helps redirect light back to the viewer.

Does a Diamond’s Color Grade Affect its Brilliance?

No, the color grade of a diamond does not have any impact on its brilliance. You can have an L-colored diamond that is full of brilliance.

Does a Diamond’s Clarity Grade Affect its Brilliance?

A diamond’s clarity impacts the stone’s brilliance, but this is mostly seen in heavily included stones such as I1, I2, and I3 clarity grades.

Brilliance vs. Fire vs. Scintillation

For a diamond to be brilliant, there is more than just being bright. Think of a giant mirror reflecting light into your eyes. It is very bright but not appealing. The combination of brilliance, fire, and scintillation in perfect balance is necessary for a brilliant diamond to be pleasing to the eye.

Fire, also known as dispersion, refers to the dispersion of light into all the rainbow colors. A diamond with strong fire will appear to have flashes of color, often referred to as “rainbow effects.”

Scintillation refers to the twinkling or shimmering of light from facet to facet towards the center of a diamond when you move the stone. A diamond with an ideal scintillation will appear to have many small flashes of light spread across the stone’s surface, often referred to as “sparkle.”

How To Find The Perfect Diamond

Now that you know what diamond brilliance is, you can start shopping for a brilliant diamond with confidence. Contact us at Wm. Harold & Sons Jewelry to request an appointment. We have a wide selection of diamond jewelry, and we can help you find one that meets your needs and budget.

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